Skip to content

What is SEO Content Writing?

Can Getting It Wrong Wreck Your Website?

Is building an effective business website turning out to be much harder and more complicated than you expected? You aren't alone. Virtually everyone starting out online runs into these issues, especially as the layers of work required become easier to see. For example, just building your website isn't enough—once you finish, you'll need to ask questions such as "What is SEO content writing?" and "How do I use SEO effectively?"

Search engine optimization is all about serving up valuable content relevant to the intent behind any user's query. It's a complex process where things change often. We can only infer things about how search algorithms work—Google keeps its most inner workings under wraps. So how can SEO make a difference if we don't know the formula? More importantly—if you don't do SEO correctly, could it ruin all your hard work?

It's possible. The real answer, though, is full of nuance. Let's start by considering the realities of what we're discussing.

What even is SEO content writing?

SEO content writing is all about balancing two goals: providing readers with valuable content and convincing search algorithms that your posts belong on the first results page. That involves, in part, figuring out what keywords people use that are relevant to what your business offers. You must then take those keywords and intelligently incorporate them into the content.

SEO techniques for content aren't just about keywords, though. If they were, things might be easy—if only. There are many elements to consider, including page titles, meta descriptions, content structure, and more. The way you build your website can influence things, too. Getting it right will make a big difference.

Across virtually every vertical—no matter the industry—organic search accounts for more than half of all traffic to business websites today. Using SEO writing effectively can and does let you tap into a vast new audience, some of whom you'll have the opportunity to convert into buyers.

Good SEO helps—but how much can bad SEO hurt? Could it ruin all the hard work that came before?

What happens if I get it wrong?

Companies like Google are keen to provide the best search product possible. That interest means they rank relevant content more highly and lower-quality content further down the page. As part of this process, both automatic tools and manual reviews ensure that website operators don't try to game the system.

No algorithm is foolproof or perfect—and so-called "black hat" SEO techniques exist to attempt to exploit imperfections to gain rankings. Anyone who's been online long enough to remember the days of the dot-com bubble will remember the days of rampant keyword stuffing or huge lists of keywords in invisible text.

To combat these techniques, Google seeks to identify and penalize black hat users. Unethical approaches to digital marketing are a major reason for the existence of ranking penalties, but not the only ones. Search providers also want to see websites conform to certain standards and practices that provide a better experience in search and for users. Penalties promote best practices and punish unethical efforts.

Those penalties can range from the mild to the severe. In the simplest cases, your site suffers a penalty for specific keywords—you won't rank as well or at all for them. In the most severe circumstances, Google may "de-list" your entire domain—meaning that not one of Google's 8.5 billion daily search requests would ever show your site in the results.

Is it possible to reverse any damage done by bad SEO?

The thought of all your hard work vanishing without a trace from Google is a gut-wrenching thought, but remember: it's the most severe outcome possible. Even well-made sites populated with content produced according to best practices can sometimes experience minor Google penalties. Thankfully, search engines make it relatively easy to understand how you're being penalized. You aren't stuck in this situation without any options.

Most often, you'll need to update your content or change up your linking strategies. In some cases, such as when your site earns a manually-assigned penalty, you'll need to work a bit harder to have the penalty removed. That's the point, though: you can identify the problems, develop a solution that hews closer to the right way of doing things, and have penalties removed.

Despite their frightening nature, penalties won't wreck your website if you take action.

Better Blogging to Keep Growing Your Business

Answering "What is SEO content writing?" and understanding its potential impact on your website are the major first steps towards a sound strategy. Although considering the potential impacts of penalties or de-listing is unsettling, avoiding that outcome only requires learning the right principles. Even if you incur a penalty, reversing the damage often only requires correcting the issue. As you learn more about SEO and its applications, don't lose sight of your goal: to rank well by providing authentic, relevant, and valuable content.